Blackberry Cream Cheese Spread

Hello Lovely,

I love recipes that look fancy but really are simple. This blackberry cream cheese spread is just that - quick and delicious! It makes a great hostess gift whether you're attending a holiday brunch, or wine soiree with a few girlfriends. As an appetizer, this blackberry cream cheese spread is amazingly good.  Serve it on crostini or crackers with a glass of red zinfandel, or even french toast for breakfast. It’s a super fast appetizer! Set some honey nearby and let guests drizzle a little honey on top for some extra sweetness. It looks so elegant, but takes only minutes.

If blackberries aren’t your favourite, substitute raspberries instead and add an extra tablespoon of sugar to offset the tartness of the berries.

 

Blackberry Cream Cheese Spread

Ingredients

  • 2 (8 oz) blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, sugar and lemon zest.
  2. Remove the bowl and gently fold in the blackberries gently. Store in mason jars for 1-2 weeks.

My spread was so creamy, I couldn't resist putting it on french toast. It made our weekend breakfast SOOOO much better! Your friends won't believe how simple this was to make! But save some of those blackberries (at least ten) for a recipe we'll be sharing this Tuesday on the blog!

Chocolate Pumpkin Donuts with Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Pumpkin Donuts with Cream Cheese Frosting

These baked pumpkin doughnuts with cream cheese glaze are the perfect fall treat. Now, I for one love me a good pumpkin recipe. And I also love my doughnut pan. So naturally – it’s a match made in heaven. Ready in 30 minutes start to finish – have them for breakfast or afternoon coffee! Yes please! Seriously, you’re going to love this recipe.

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Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

 

Hello Lovely,

Yesterday my mother came back home from visiting doctors with my aunt. The news wasn't great; downright horrible to be exact. I wanted to cheer her and everyone in the house up with some homemade ice cream that was just a little extra! After making Key Lime Pie a few months ago, I knew the flavour would be amazing so I couldn't wait to taste it! And trust me, this did not disappoint!

This recipe is so super easy; it only requires three basic ingredients! Cream Cheese, Sweet Milk and Lime Juice. I actually added almond extract at the last moment just to add another dimension of flavour and I’m glad I did. Sweet but tart and then a little crunch from the crust – Mmmm! The only drawback is you're gonna have to freeze this unless you prefer the soft serve texture most at-home ice cream makers produce. So, there's some waiting involved. Of course I don’t have an ice cream maker so I had a pretty long wait time, but it turned out the same way it would have, if I had used one.

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

makes one quart

 Ingredients

·      8 oz. (one package) softened cream cheese

·      14 oz. (one can) sweetened condensed milk

·      1/2 cup lime juice

·      2 1/2 teaspoons lime zest

·      big pinch of salt

·      4-5 graham crackers

 Directions

In mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, blend the softened cream cheese for a few seconds. You want the cream cheese soft and very spreadable so that your final ice cream batter will be smooth and free of any small lumps of cold cream cheese. I forgot to set the cream cheese out on the counter for a few hours before I made this so I rested it in a hot frying pan that I had recently used to speed up the process (totally worked).

Then add to the bowl the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, lime zest, and salt. Blend until smooth. You can add a teaspoon of almond extract to the batter if you'd like. I think it really boosts the flavour! Pour into a container like a loaf pan and freeze for a minimum of 6 hours.  The next day I have that thicker ice cream texture that I'm looking for so it may be best to freeze overnight, if that’s what you’re looking for. Otherwise, wait the minimum 6 hours and enjoy soft serve!

I forgot to add the lime zest before taking the pictures and eating the ice cream, but it was totally fine without it! Enjoy!

Oreo Cupcakes

Hello Lovely,

On Friday we celebrated the vice principal’s birthday with a surprise birthday party in the office because it’s her first birthday with us as vice principal. She was so surprised she almost cried! I made her a birthday card and got it signed by all of the teachers, and these AMAZING cupcakes! I really outdid myself on this one! Sure they take some time to make (especially when you’re operating out of a toaster oven, so you have to use a mini cupcake pan because the regular cupcake pan is too big to fit and you made enough batter for 16 cupcakes) but they’re totally worth it!

I’m so mad that I forgot my camera that morning so I had to take all of the photos with my cell phone and believe me, I am not cell phone photographer! Something as simple as getting the right angle confuses me but I did my best to show you guys how good and tasty these cupcakes are!

Oh, they are SO good.  What makes them extra good is the “frosting.”  It is less like frosting and more like a fluffy cheesecake. I surprised myself by making this frosting because it’s something I’ve never been good at! But to see it turn out so well (for the most part) gave me an extra confidence boost! I just knew she was going to like them!

OREO CUPCAKES

For the cupcake

·        1 1/3 cups self-rising flour

·        ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

·        3 tablespoons applesauce

·        1 cup white sugar

·        2 eggs

·        1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·        1 cup milk

For the frosting

·        1 package of cream cheese, 8oz. at room temp.

·        1 cups powder sugar

·        1 Tbsp vanilla

·        1 container of Cool Whip, 8oz. thawed

 

Directions

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, and cocoa. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.

3. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

4. While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting.

5. Beat the cream cheese and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy.  Slowly add in the sugar while continuing to mix the cream cheese mixture.

6. On a low speed, add in the cool whip.

7. You may need to allow the frosting to set up in the refrigerator while the cupcakes continue to cool.  Make sure the cupcake are all the way cool before adding frosting.

8. Put your frosting in a pastry bag.

9. Stick the point of the pastry bag into the cupcake and squeeze a little frosting into the centre.  You will see the cupcake puff up.

10. Then frost the cupcakes like normal and sprinkle with crushed Oreo.

11. If you’d like, stick a piece of leftover Oreo in the frosting, for a little flair and extra cookie goodness.

TIP: Consume these almost immediately! I personally hate hard frosting. I like a soft, creamy frosting. But if you leave this at room temperature for too long, it'll melt and you won't be able to enjoy it, and if you put it in the fridge, well then, you'll just have a cold cupcake. And that's not fun!

What’s your perfect cupcake recipe? Will you try this at your next celebration? I sure hope so! Let me know in the comments section below!

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

It's officially office Christmas party season! Last night, my tech group friends from church held our Christmas dinner social at Denise's house and it was so much fun! There were bottles of wine and egg nog to go around! Dinner was great and my team won in Partini again! (I am now a 3-time winner, thank you very much! Never lost a game!) The best part? My cheesecake was a huge hit!

I made a cranberry swirl cheesecake and I was so worried! I forgot to take the cranberries out before swirling the sauce and the top of the cheesecake cracked so I was freaking out! Everyone told me that I had outdone myself and the cheesecake did not last very long! I was so relieved everyone loved it. So below is the recipe for my holiday cheesecake with some adjustments that you can use to brighten up your holiday meal!

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

Sorry it's not a high-tech photo. I snapped this while it was being sliced!

Sorry it's not a high-tech photo. I snapped this while it was being sliced!

Make room for dessert! I've got a cranberry swirl cheesecake that's easy to prepare and looks fabulous. It adds a pretty festive colour to a holiday dessert table.

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Filling

  •  2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

Sauce

  1. Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat for one minute.
  2. Stir in berries; cover and reduce heat. Cook until most of the berries have popped. Add lemon juice.
  3. Press mixture through a sieve and set aside.

Filling

  1. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating just until blended. Add lemon juice. Pour into crust.

Topping off & baking

  1. Spoon cranberry sauce over filling; cut through filling with a knife to swirl.
  2. Put a pan on the bottom rack of the oven and fill with water.
  3. Bake cheesecake on middle rack at 350° for 45 minutes. Turn oven off; let cheesecake stand in oven for 1 hour (with oven door open).
  4. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Carefully run a knife around sides of pan to loosen and remove side of pan. Refrigerate overnight.